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October 14, 2008

Free to oppose what I believe wrong

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Today we have the opportunity to exercise our franchise, should we choose to do so. On this and every other day we have the right to speak our minds. Or rather, we used to. No matter who is elected to represent you or who our representatives choose to support for our next government, every member of Parliament might usefully be reminded of the words of John Diefenbaker.

He never added the caveat, "so long as nobody might be offended".

"I am a Canadian,
a free Canadian,
free to speak without fear,
free to worship God in my own way,
free to stand for what I think right,
free to oppose what I believe wrong,
free to choose those who shall govern my country.
This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold
for myself and for all mankind."

- John Diefenbaker
House of Common Debates, July 1, 1960*

Related: For context, and our American cousins, John F. Kennedy in Ottawa, May 18, 1961.

"We do not seek the unanimity that comes to those who water down all issues to the lowest common denominator or to those who conceal their differences behind fixed smiles or to those who measure unity by standards of popularity and affection instead of trust and respect."

His words might also usefully be remembered on a day of fixed smiles.

* With thanks to Covenant Zone for the correct quotation and who has posted more Canadian quotes on the subject of freedom.

Update: Kathy Shaidle.

I invite other Canadian bloggers to repeat Diefenbaker's words on their sites in an attempt to re-popularize them.

Can you imagine a Canada in which school kids recited this each day like the Pledge? Naw, me neither. But it's fun to think about.

Update: Blazing Cat Fur lists everyone who participated in today's blogburst. God bless Canada.

Suzanne of Big Blue Wave reports - The blogburst was mentioned on Radio-Canada on their election coverage circa 7:15 pm. It was mentioned in a fairly straight-forward manner during a run-down on what was said on the blogosphere today. It said that our blogburst was a call to vote for free speech and our freedoms, but they didn't mention that it was in the context of the HRC controversy and the need for free speech.

Still... it's a start.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 14, 2008 07:21 AM